Stuffed vegetables are fall-festival comfort foods. Representing a bountiful harvest, stuffed cabbage is traditionally eaten on Sukkot — and is a favorite on Simchat Torah, too, since their cylindrical shapes resemble Torah scrolls! Courtesy of the “Spice Girls’” Israeli-American recipes, here’s an easy version for you and your family to enjoy outdoors in your sukkah or in your home. B’te-avon (bon appétit)!
Stuffed Cabbage (Prakas)
1½ lb. lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2-3 tbsp. matzoh meal or rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 head cabbage
1 28-oz. can Italian tomatoes or stewed tomatoes with basil
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1-2 cloves garlic, to taste
Juice of ½ large lemon
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup white raisins
1. Combine beef, egg, matzoh meal, garlic, salt and pepper, then form to make balls small enough to wrap in cabbage leaves.
2. Extract the core of the cabbage with a paring knife. Place the cabbage head in a pot containing 2” water. Bring to a simmer, cover and steam until cabbage is translucent. Drain, reserving the water.
3. Separate the cabbage leaves and place a meatball in each. Wrap the leaves around the meat, tucking in the sides of each leaf as you roll. If any leaf is too small, use two to wrap a single meatball. Shred any leftover cabbage and set aside.
4. Combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, lemon juice and brown sugar in a pot, and bring to a simmer. Adjust for taste and stir in the raisins.
5. Place the cabbage rolls in the pot, seam side down, covering each with the sauce. Finally, add the leftover cabbage shreds.
6. Cover the pot tightly. Simmer until the meat is cooked and the cabbage leaves are soft, about one hour. If sauce thickens, dilute with the water left over from the cabbage, remembering that the cabbage rolls themselves will also release liquids into the sauce as they cook. Serve over rice.